A guy who strings you along isn't a guy who is looking for a permanent relationship or even a commitment. When you find yourself being taken advantage of emotionally, physically, psychologically or financially, it's time to re-evaluate the situation and move on -- don't allow this guy to manipulate you any longer.
Signs He's Stringing You Along
Always listen to your instincts; if it doesn't feel like a relationship and you're not happy, it's time to leave. Health psychologist Nicola Davies lists some personality traits of manipulators on her "Health Psychology Consultancy" website, which include: deceitfulness -- he misleads you to get what he wants; controlling -- he uses sex or flirting as a means to control you; compelling -- he's charismatic; self-conscious -- he's concerned with his appearance and how he looks to others. Pay attention to his behaviors -- does he introduce you to friends and family members or is your relationship "taboo?" Do you have to rearrange your schedule to spend time with him, making plans when and where it's convenient for him? Does he get defensive when you call him out on his actions? These are all clear indications that he's stringing you along.
How To Break the News
The most respectful way to end a relationship is in person, where the two of you can discuss your decision in detail. However, if you think you might fall victim to another one of his ploys to string you along, you can always do it over the phone or via video chat, but don't break-up with his voice mail. The other alternatives are text and email. Although they remove confrontation from the equation, tone doesn't come through in a text and easily gets misconstrued.
What To Say
This is your chance to be honest about your feelings. It's important to get to the point, so if need be, write down your reasons for ending the relationship. Be specific; for example, you might say, "I feel like you only spend time with me when it's convenient for you and you always make me pick up the tab when we go out." Let him know that you feel like he's stringing you along; if he made promises he had no intentions of keeping, bring that up as well. You don't owe him anything more than the closure of ending the relationship, so wish him well and excuse yourself once you've done the deed.
Remain Firm in Your Decision
In moments of weakness don't contact him; instead call your friends. Establish a support system of friends and family to help keep you on track until you feel confident that you've permanently moved on from the relationship. In a "Psych Central" article, Rick Nauert, Ph.D., suggests that it's harder to break up in a digital age full of digital possessions -- photos, messages, music and video via computers, tablets, phones and cameras. Some people are reluctant to delete these digital possessions, but it may be cathartic, helping you stand firm in your decision.
Kimberly Liby has been a content writer and editor since 2006, with articles in "944" magazine. She has written on a range of topics including cooking, health, current events, philosophy, psychology, career, education, writing and editing. Liby holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature with a writing minor from Arizona State University, and a Master of Science in psychology from the University of Phoenix.